Thursday, November 20, 2014

Live Drunk Blog 11-20-14: Wild at Flyers

Tonight I will be treating you to one of my classic Live Drunk Blogs, wherein I watch a Wild game and drink myself silly. Will I be happy or belligerent after the game? Check back and find out!

Beer #1: Summit Extra Pale Ale

This game should be rounding out the first period by now. Where's the damn game. Oh, they're honoring LeClair and Lindros? I guess I shouldn't make any conkie jokes tonight. Dammit.

FSN is instead showing me a shitload of Chorske. Like, way more Chorske than any sane person should have to see

Gorg and Nino,  aka Beauty and the Beast.

Bullshit non call on the Ballard tackle.

Beer #2: Summit Great Northern Porter. Malty and slightly metallic, a good winter beer.

Not happy at the shot differential early. Or how much running around is going on. The Wild aren't establishing their game.

Oh look, Jan the Toyota Bimbo.

How in the hell is Simmonds an alternate captain?

Bad clear by Darcy.

I like how Parise draws penalties.

And Vanek takes a deflection shot from the crease. That's supposedly his wheelhouse, but color me unimpressed.

I'm curious how many times Greenlay will mention that Schultz used to play for the Wild. Three times so far.

Jesus F. The Wild are just letting the Flyers do what they want. This is not the time to take a pen - goddammit.

Yeah this is not what I'd call a "good road period" but oh man Kuemper is sexy tonight.

Beer #3: New Glarus Spotted Kuemper, in honor of Cow.

What did I miss, other than another impotent Power Play?

Oh snap look at that Nino goal.

Dammit, Dumba! And wow, Philly has a long goal horn. Compensating for something?

Holy fuck that was a long penalty delay. And I did not like that hit on Granlund. Not one little bit.

Beer #4: Summit Pilsner. 2 things. When the fuck did I ever buy this and when did they go to pry offs? My hand is cut to shit.

Nice goal by sacandella. But it doesn't mean shit if they give back the momentum.

Awww, it's like Schultz (Former Wild player) wanted to help his old team by taking out Emery.

Yeah I'll take Carter for Voracek every day of the week and twice on Sunday.

But, no Mikko. Fuck that. Koivu is one tough motherfucker, so it must be bad.

Oh, I get it now. Laughton, not Lawton. I should probably stop giggling when I hear that name.

Ryan Carter looks kinda molestery with that 'stache.

I say again that Kuemper looks sexy tonight.

Wait, there's that long goal horn again.

The Wild have to get better at lock - oh snap look at Zucker go.

Alright lock this shit down.

Ok. Good win. I need to pee.

5MM 11/16/14


I was out of pocket for this one, so Mike, Mase and Doubles rocked it out.

Sunday, November 9, 2014

5MM 11/9/14


Doubles was away, so Mike, Mase, and I held it down tonight.

Little different look than last week, considering how the Wild has lost three-straight.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

5 MM: 11/2/14 Edition


Had the whole crew on tonight, including Doubles from a penalty box at a local rink - now THAT's hockey, my friends!

We gushed a little bit about the Wild, talked about all the offense we're getting from the defense, and then blew some sunshine up Haula's and Brodin's arses. 'Twas a good old time.

Do yourself a favor and giver her a listen.

Sunday, October 26, 2014

5MM: 10/26/14


The latest in our hit podcast series, the 5 Minute Major.

I had to kick Mike, Doubles and Mason into the pool to see if they could swim without my help tonight, but they did a great job.

Give 'er a listen.

Reminder: Wild Xtra


Just a reminder that our written stuff - and the written stuff of 7 other guys - can now be found at Wild Xtra. The site is off to a great start, with good content and a strong and growing community that is you short of awesome.

Recent articles by your favorite HTP writers:

Mason, with the sneaky Archer pull in the title, no less, continues his excellent Sixer series with an entry on the hockey words/phrases that give him the greatest agita.

Mike with a little insight into the goings on in Denver.

And Doubles has been doing game previews that are comprehensive and well-written.

Please stop by, register and give us a shout.

Sunday, October 19, 2014

HTP 5 Minute Major 10/19/14


Another banter-filled ep.

1) Four games in, what have we learned about the Minnesota Wild?
2) Kesler
3) Advanced Stats

Reminder: check out WildXtra tomorrow for the big launch.

Saturday, October 18, 2014



I've been doing this since 2007. I think that makes HTP the longest-running Wild-centric blog out there. That and $2 still won't get you on the subway.

I got into this because I otherwise sit here in NY and watch the game and yell at the game and talk about the game - to myself, because I'm not in Minnesota. That's kind of lonely. So, I started out by bombarding Ye Olde Russoville's comments section. Then I moved into the blogging.

Let me tell you something about blogging, it's not always easy. Sure, it's nice not to be constrained by editors, and etiquette, or accountability. But, for those of us who aspire to do a good job, we choose to think about some of those things. Another thing about blogging about a sports team is that A) I'm not a journalist, B) I'm not an expert, C) I have another job, D) - and this one is critical - I don't have access to the team. A + B + C + D = an overall inability to add anything substantive to the discussion that is already presented by the pros who have access to the team, other than pure opinion. There's nothing wrong with that. There's a whole bunch of blogs out there that are super popular that only provide opinions. Some blogs try to pretend like they are a reasonable facsimile of professionalism. In sports, some blogs have even gained access to their team. I get the sense that very few of those (very few) bloggers who do so actually have the wherewithal to conduct themselves like the pros do. That's been my experience as a consumer of those blogs, anyway. I thought the T3I blog that covered the Aeros did the best job of bridging the gap between non-MSM, amateur blog and professional journalism, among the blogs that I have been familiar with. This blog never attempted that. Mostly because I'm in NY, and so I can only see the Wild play a couple times a year without getting on an airplane. And getting on an airplane 80-odd times a year for leisure was beyond my budget.

But, over the past couple years, our output has dwindled. Not, it should be pointed out, the conversations with no one about the Wild that I had, that were the impetus for this blog in the first place. Those continue to this day. But my wonderful wife has an understandable limit to the amount of Wild discussions she wants to have on a given day, and that limit is far, far, below my own. What changed was my belief that I could offer enough interesting opinion to remain a destination for Wild fans looking for opinions. I brought on other writers, whose opinions I enjoy reading. I think we could have made a nice go of it, and I like the idea of being an independent blog. Given our amateur status, that just feels more natural.

Enter Wild Xtra.

This is a new, independent Wild site. It will offer original articles from a good stable of writers. It will offer a community in which people - both Wild fans and not - can hang out. It is affiliated with the hugely successful Twins Daily (and their other new project, Vikings Journal). And it is where you will be able to find written content from my fellow HTP writers and me, from now on. For me, this represents a fix for the challenges I outlined above. I think Wild Xtra has something like 11 different staff writers. So, while my concern is that the opinions of one or a couple individual voices might not be enough to sustain a blog, I do think that the opinions of 11 individual voices is enough. The lifeblood of this kind of blog, in my opinion, is the community aspect it has the opportunity to build. There are other Wild-centric sites out there that have a community. I never cottoned to any of them. I'm willing to say that's more me than them, but it is what it is. The staff at Wild Xtra all seem like good, decent, interesting, non-arrogant people. People with whom I want to be associated. People who I feel will represent the core of what will be a positive force in the Wild fan universe. I think that's unique, and I think that's worthwhile. In short (too late), Wild Xtra is the answer to my prayers for my blogging identity.

About the future of HTP. Having started this place so long ago, and having been through so much with it (anyone else remember when it was selected by USA Hockey magazine as one of the top 10 hockey blogs in America? That was pretty cool) you will understand that I was reluctant to simply shut it down. The question for me is: with all of our written content going to Wild Xtra, what could HTP be used for? Here's what: we will continue to use HTP for live chats and as the place where you can find out podcast, The Five Minute Major. For now, I think that's enough, as we work on getting Wild Xtra up and running. But again, we will no longer be posting original written content here - that is all going over to Wild Xtra.

So, this isn't a good-bye. This is an evolution. Jared, Mike, Doubles and I are excited to cordially invite you over to our new place, Wild Xtra. We hope you continue to stop by here for chats and podcasts, we thank you for reading, we hope to continue to at least entertain you, and most importantly, we look forward to continuing to hoist some virtual beers with you as we hang out and discuss that crazy hockey team in St. Paul.

Best regards,


P.S.: Wild Xtra is shooting for a formal launch on Monday. However, you can head over there now, sign up so you can participate in the forums and write fan posts, and read some of the initial content we've come up with.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

HTP's 5 Minute Major (podcast) debut ep!


We decided to deep six The Dump In name (which, judging by the number of hits, no one liked anyway) and replace it with: The 5 Minute Major (woo hoo...I know, catchy).

We debuted tonight with the full squad, and covered the Wild's hot start, Brodin's new deal, and Kuemper and the Wild goaltending situation.

5 Minute Major FAQ

Q: Why is it called 5 Minute Major?
A: Because we aspire to keep it to 5 minutes or under, because who really has, say, 22:48 to listen to a podcast?

Okay, enjoy the podcast!

Saturday, October 11, 2014

Wild at Colorado, 10/11/14

By: Mike Berg

Tonight I watched the Avalanche feed of the game.

The Wild began where they left off two nights before, buzzing early in the Avalanche zone, followed by a quick goal by Charlie Coyle off a Ryan Suter shot. The Avalanche came back and made a game of it by the middle of the first period, generating chances. While the Avalanche were able to generate momentum on a Power Play, the Wild came back with their own man advantage and peppered shots on Varlamov.

Players I noticed in the first were Granlund, who is relentless on the puck, and Brodin, who helped set up the shot on which Coyle scored, and who makes clearing the puck out of trouble look so easy. Kuemper had to make some sensational saves in the first as well.

The second period began rather disjointedly, with an ugly power play for the Wild. And then, oh boy, Erik Johnson stepped in it, nailing Erik Haula with a dirty flying elbow. You have to wonder if this is what Patrick Roy was referring to about a Wild player getting hurt. The action was back and forth until Coyle appeared to get his second of the night, but Hejda pushed Nino Niederreiter into Varlamov, negating the goal. And then the always classy Gabriel "We don't do that sort of thing" Landeskog tried to take Nino's head off, before Zucker put in a beauty from Vanek.

I honestly couldn't notice anyone in the second period because the stream I was watching kept cutting out. Well, other than Erik Johnson wanting to be the only Erik in the game and trying to take out Haula. What I did see was Kuemper continuing to play strong in net.

The third frame was also back and forth, with some chances both ways,  but overall the Avalanche playing desperate,  aggressive hockey. The power play the Wild got midway through the period -  from a couple of Avalanche delay of game calls - was a real mess. They couldn't get into the zone or gain momentum, despite having nearly four minutes of power play time, again, primarily attributable to the Aves playing an aggressive penalty kill. The end of the game was hairy after Roy pulled Varlamov and Cooke slashed Barrie, leading to a late 6 on 4.

Once again, Kuemper was strong in net. Parise scored an empty netter, and he had to work for it,  scoring from below the goal line.

The Wild had to work for this win. They deserved it. Another shutout, but nothing like the season opener.